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TFWA WE ‘completed successfully’ despite fall in visitor numbers

Tax Free World Association (TFWA) president Erik Juul-Mortensen has hailed the 2015 TFWA World Exhibition & Conference a success, despite a 2% drop in visitors.

The 2015 TFWA World Exhibition & Conference has been deemed a success - image courtesy of TFWA
The 2015 TFWA World Exhibition & Conference has been deemed a success – image courtesy of TFWA

A total of 6,558 visitors from 3,026 companies attended the event, which was held in Cannes, France, from Sunday 18 to Friday 23 October. The 2014 event attracted 6,701 visitors (2% more) from 3,105 companies (+3%).

Of the 2015 total, 2,183 people (33%) were buyers from 643 companies, chiefly duty free and travel retail operators and landlords of airports, airlines, ferry, cruise, border and downtown concerns. This key visitor demographic was up +2% on the previous year’s figure of 2,132 from 618 companies.

In addition, 2,401 agents and distributors from 1,145 companies attended this year’s event.

“There has been a tremendous buzz around the exhibition this year in spite of the difficulties prior to the event both in Cannes itself and in the industry as a whole,” said Juul-Mortensen.

“The fact that TFWA World Exhibition & Conference opened on schedule just two weeks after the appalling flooding in the city, with virtually all facilities in the Palais des Festivals and at our other venues provided as planned, is testament to the hard work and commitment of all our partners in the city.

“The slight reduction in the total number of visitors compared with last year’s record figure bears witness to the difficult economic and geopolitical climate in the world today. However, I am delighted to report that our key visitor category – landlords, duty free & travel retail operators – was extremely well represented with a 2% increase in delegates and 4% rise in the number of companies over 2014. Agents and distributors also arrived in greater numbers than last year, which is very pleasing.”

On the 21,500 sqm trade floor were 482 exhibitors (475 in 2014), including eight luxury yachts in the Harbour Village. 48 companies were new to the show or returning after an absence.

The TFWA World Conference attracted 1,504 delegates on the Monday morning, while nearly 90 stayed later on the Wednesday evening for the first-ever TFWA Research Workshop.

At the closing press conference, Juul-Mortensen, on behalf of TFWA Care, presented SAMU SOCIAL, an organisation which provides assistance to homeless people, with funds to purchase a new service vehicle. The van will replace one originally donated by TFWA ten years ago which was destroyed in the recent flooding.

Juul-Mortensen concluded: “TFWA is pleased to report that the 31st TFWA World Exhibition & Conference has been completed successfully. Initial feedback from visitors and exhibitors has been very positive and we will endeavour to rectify any issues which have come to light in time for next year.

“We look forward to meeting colleagues at our next industry event, the MEADFA Conference in Jordan, on 23 and 24 November.”

The 2016 TFWA World Exhibition & Conference will take place in Cannes from 2-7 October 2016.

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